BM25 Musudan

The Musudan missile, also known under the names BM-25, Taepodong X, Nodong / Rodong-B and Mirim, is a mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile developed by North Korea. The Musudan was first revealed to the international community in a military parade on 10 October 2010 celebrating the Korean Worker's Party's 65th anniversary, although experts believe these were mock-ups of the missile. The Musudan resembles the shape of the Soviet Union's R-27 Zyb submarine-launched missile, but is slightly longer. As of 2015, there was no indication that the missile system had been launch tested, or was operational.

Country Name Origin Year
North Korea 2010

In the mid-1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, North Korea invited the Makeyev Design Bureau's ballistic missile designers and engineers to develop this missile, based on the R-27 Zyb.

It was decided that, as the Korean People's Army's MAZ-547A/MAZ-7916 Transporter erector launcher could carry 20 tonnes, and the R-27 Zyb was only 14.2 tonnes, the R-27 Zyb's fuel/oxidizer tank could be extended by approximately 2 metres. Additionally, the warhead was reduced from a three-warhead MIRV to a single warhead.

The actual rocket design is a liquid fuel rocket, generally believed to use a hypergolic combination of unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) as fuel, and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) as oxidizer. Once the fuel/oxidizer combination are fed into the missile, it could maintain a 'ready to launch' condition for several days, or even weeks, like the R-27 SLBM, in moderate ambient temperatures. A fueled Musudan would not have the structural strength to be land transported, so would have to be fueled at the launch site.

It was originally believed that Musudan's rocket motors made up the second stage of the Taepodong-2, which North Korea unsuccessfully test fired in 2006. However analysis of the Unha-3 launch, believed to be based on the Taepodong-2, showed that the second stage did not use the same fuel as the R-27, and is probably based on Nodong rocket technology. There is a possibility that the Musudan likewise is using the Nodong's kerosene and corrosion inhibited red fuming nitric acid (IRFNA) propellants, reducing the missile's range by about half.

On April 6, 2013, reports suggestet two Musudan rockets were carried to a base near the eastern coast of North Korea and prepared for a likely launch. This could have been intended to be the first ever test of the rocket or a military drill. On May 7, 2013 it was reported that these two Musudan rockets were moved away from their coastal launch site. There have been no further reports of the Musadan being seen in public, or tested, as of 2015.

Type Surface-to-surface guided missile
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by United States
Production history
Designer Coleman Aerospace
Specifications
Weight 11,300 kilograms (24,912 lb)
Length 11.9 metres (39.0 ft)
Diameter 1.32 metres (4.3 ft) (first stage)
Engine First stage: Aerojet General SR19-AJ-1 solid-fuel rocket; 268 kN (60,300 lbf)
2nd stage: Hercules M57A1 solid-fuel rocket; 156 kN (35,000 lbf)
Operational range 1,100 kilometres (684 mi)

Musudan

  • Launch weight: about 20 tons (est.)
  • Diameter: 1.5 m
  • Total Length: 12 m
  • Payload: 1,000–1,250 kg (est.)
  • Warhead: single
  • Maximum range: 2,500–4,000 km (est.)
  • CEP: 1.3 km
  • Launch platform: North Korean-produced TEL, resembling a stretched and modified MAZ-543

End notes